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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

ALEXANDER, VON  HUMBOIiBT.                  91
especial   manner   the   various branches  of  science.
The most eminent men of the age considered it an
honour to be fellow-labourers in this gigantic work;
they emulated each, other in the sterling value of the
contents, and  the   most   accurate adaptation   of the
material afforded them.    Artists  and artizans strove
to   make  the   artistic   contributions,  the  atlas,   the
landscapes, the typographic arrangements, as perfect
and brilliant as possible.    Although the great work
Becjuircd   several  years,   and its  completion extends
to tho latent period., and even into the future, we deem
this a fitting occasion to give a sketch of this great
literary undertaking.
The whole work, which is written in the French
language, is subdivided into a series of pamphlet^
which belong to the various special spheres of science.
For the astronomic observations and barometric alti-
tude measurements,  Oltmann was employed,   under
Hximboldt's superintendence and assistance; in che-
mistry and meteorology, the  celebrated Arago and
Gay-Lussac willingly assisted him with, their know-
ledge ; Cuvier and Latreille devoted their energies to
the zoological portion; Vauquelin and Klaproth to the
mineralogical part; and the Berlin professor, Kunth,
was fellow-labourer in the department of botany.   This
assistance  of  celebrated   scholars   in  special natural
BcicTitiiic  branches,  was  inevitably required,   if the
work should have any chance of completion during a
long  Immau life.    The materials which  Humboldt
entrusted to each fellow-labourer resembled a mine,
from which every workman produced new treasures
and pure gold for science,   It was to be expected that
the parts which gradually appeared would soon find
translators and compilers, and. thus it happened that
tho various single branches were translated into Ger-
man and  other languages by clever men, and were
freqxientiy enriched with new experiences and com-
parative descriptions.
As the original was written in a foreign tongue,
as it appeared only at long intervals, and was ex-